Monday, February 04, 2008

Biking Shorts - Part 2

So, I've been biking around like a madman, these past couple of months.

After years or trial-and-error, trying to find a bicycle that felt right and worked well, I learned, the hard way, that not all bikes are created equal. Having finally found one that worked for me, I was all too happy to ride around the neighborhood, hit the paved biking trails, peddle to the bus stop (which I sometimes take to class), and, eventually, to bike the 6 miles or so (round-trip) to and from class.

Tallahassee's got hills for DAYS, but somehow my screaming thigh muscles weren't deterrents. I mean, it's true that money's tighter than it's been in some time, but I don't really HAVE to bike back and forth to class. I could drive or I could walk to the bus stop and ride for free.

Instead, I set up my audio entertainment*, set up my gear**, and hit the road. I feel like I'm doing a good thing. Really.

A recent podcast I listened to was about fuel-efficient cars - hybrids, etc. - and how that's a good thing for the environment and for decreasing our dependence on oil, but an even better way is to carpool or catch the bus or walk... or bike your way around.

I guess that makes sense. If biking, for instance, allows you to only drive half as much as you used to, you've effectively doubled your gas mileage - depending on how you look at it. In my case, I drive a day out of the average week. In fact, I drive so little that I feel strange behind the wheel, these days.

Besides feeling like I'm wasting fossil fuels and contributing to global warming, I just feel like a huge target for police officers who've GOT to find SOME reason to pull me over (despite the fact that I'm the slowest driver you'd never want to meet on the highway).

So, I'm helping the environment, reducing the chances that I'll get a traffic ticket, decreasing my auto insurance rates by driving less, saving gas money (I estimate that a half-hour, round-trip commute costs about $3 per trip on a good day), and keeping myself healthy.

And, honestly, it's just plain ol' FUN.

Click below to skip to...
Part 1
Part 3
Part 4

* - usually, streaming NPR programming through my Treo smartphone and listening to it wirelessly through my stereo Bluetooth headphones. More on those at a later date. You know I'm way overdue for some tech ranting. :-)

** - Tallahassee weather (hell, this whole region's weather) is moody as can be, so layers are key.

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